April Spools Day

All my spools are quills, mostly pre-made cardboard, with a couple of rolled-brown-paper exceptions. I keep a few sizes of quills ready, sorted in little mugs inside a basket. The basket sits on a shelf under the table that holds my bobbin-winder, so I simply reach down and grab the size quill I need at the moment.

One of the mugs says Glimåkra (from Joanne Hall, my Glimåkra friend), another mug is a handle-less one I picked up at Ikea years ago that looks like a little flower pot, one is a baby’s pewter cup (when does a baby use a pewter cup?), but the mug I like best is my husband’s childhood milkglass cup with red two-block twill design (at least that’s what I’m calling it), and a blue “S” for Steve.

This fun idea of weavers sharing pictures of their spools is from Meg over at Unravelling. Thanks, Meg!

Last towel on the warp. Emptying as many quills as possible.
I like to use up as much thread as possible as I finish a project. The final towel on this warp has horizontal stripes of varying widths as I empty as many quills as I can.
Basket with mugs keep quills organized.
Several sizes of quills ready to be used. I like being able to tell at a glance if I am running short of any size.
There are always a few quills with thread/yarn left from various projects.
Quills with thread/yarn left from various projects. Do you see the two-block twill on the “Steve” cup?
Everything in place for winding quills.
Everything in place for winding a quill.

May your springtime be memorable with happy surprises.

Happy April Spools Day,

4 thoughts on “April Spools Day

  1. What is the reason you use quills instead of bobbins? When I started weaving about 20 years ago, I used both, but I ended up using only bobbins, and I’m not exactly sure why, other than they hold more thread.

    1. Diana, great question! My simple answer is that using quills is the only way I know how. I love the simplicity of quills, and that I can easily cut a piece of paper into a circle and use it as a quill.

      I have deliberately learned from teachers in the Swedish tradition, and I have only seen quills in practice. I have heard that bobbins may create more tension on the thread, pulling the selvedges more; and that thread may tend to catch on bobbins more than on quills.

      Does anyone else have an answer? Would love to hear what others think in the comments!

      Thanks for asking,

  2. Thank you for reminding me I do this every year. As for the quills, I use recycled paper quills, wooden bobbins and plastic prins and for me the weight is the issue – the sett, the draft/structure, and the weft determines the shuttle, which in terms tells me what I should wind my weft on. I also wind all leftover wefts on recycled paper quills, so sometimes I sample with giant boat shuttles using tiny paper quills.

    As regards the edges, I find that as long as I don’t wind too far to the sides of the quills, I don’t have a problem with the edges too much; mind you, I don’t really have great edges at the best of times.

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